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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I think that a lot of the strongest forms of anarchy would take generations of unlearning the old world, and of people changing the culture to build in habits against rising authorities.
(this is not to say that we can't have meaningfully anarchic lives in our own lifetimes)

I often wonder which of the things I believe are garbage.

On a related by separate note, I grew up in a pretty messed up space and I'm aware of a small handful of things already that I do badly that I don't think I can actually make better because of how my brain is wired. The amount of those things that I'm not aware of must be many.


dele_ted wrote

On a related by separate note, I grew up in a pretty messed up space and I'm aware of a small handful of things already that I do badly that I don't think I can actually make better because of how my brain is wired.

I know exactly what you mean. I've had the exact same feeling of being stuck with bad habits and traits that i would rather be without, but with time i have managed to slowly handle them one by one, and have yet to find something i cannot change at all. I think the key is just to pay close attention, always keep whatever you want to change written behind your ear and stick with a healthy belief that you can change. Nothing is hardcoded, in my experience at least.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

That would be nice! I'm working on it. I think one reason why it seems so hard is that there's just so much to learn that slowly handling those one by one seems far away.


dele_ted wrote

Definitely agree. I think the place to start is the competitive, narcissistic and egoistic mindset that's crept upon us all and goose-stepped us into this major fuck-up that society has become.


[deleted] wrote (edited )


Pop wrote

A lot of what you said here was confusing and vague for me

how do you understand egoism and its relation to altruism

don't egoists think that you can only act in your own interest and that there are people who recognise that and people who don't?

it's not clear to me how altruism exists or that the dichotomy between altruism and selfishness makes any sense

but it's weird because it seems like you're suggesting we use the master's tools to take down his house, in that last paragraph of yours


UpTickInDowngrade wrote

It depends on how much you buy into the consumer culture. The spectrum of influence and it's persuasive ability relies on a few things. How you were raised is probably the biggest factor. If you grew up in a gated community and your soccer mom carted you around with Disney World stickers on the family van then you might have a lot to shed. If you grew up in a union home of blue collar family members or if you grew up a minority then you may not have much to molt. Consumerism is pointed at everyone. It looks to claw its way into your life no matter your class or background. We are all hypnotized in some way or another.

It is important that we sober up and investigate with honesty. We must observe objectively and know the enemy well. We must break these chains and end these cycles. They build in the fault point. They plan for the failure and resale. They obfuscate and perpetuate obsolescence. They toy with the meaning and joke thru the discourse. They use myths and they game the process with psychological research. They slickly plan it all behind the curtain and shackle the indigenous and export the toxicity until the bubble bursts or they turn cannibal, then it all comes home to roost. We have to expose the worst and commit to stopping and changing as much as we can.


anarchist_critic wrote

Depends what "we" have learned.

Too many people nowadays buy into the idpol/behaviourist bullshit that everyone learns the same "subjectivity" or whatever from the system. Or, at least, it only differs with positionality. As well as silly ideas about how things are learned and unlearned. "Conditioning", "culture", sanctions and incentives etc.

People are complex beings and the unconscious exists. Social norms and assumptions "stick" to some people and not others. Two people exposed to the same situation will "learn" very different things. And of course, people aren't exposed to exactly the same parents, schools, neighbourhoods, pigs, etc. There's plenty of anarchists who've been fed years of school, media, pig bullshit and never believe it. The more they're oppressed, the more they hate the system. Just because a lot of the generation coming up have been successfully sheepled, does not mean that "everyone needs to unlearn what they've learnt".

Desire is never completely plugged into social assemblages. The extent to which it is, varies from person to person. There are many people in today's world who are not at all plugged into social assemblages at the level of desire. They are socially isolated and nihilistic, or their only reference-points are "small-world networks" such as gangs or cults. Also relevant here: James Scott, Antonio Gramsci, Colin Ward. Oppressed groups have hidden transcripts which are already largely outside the dominant social script. Oppressed groups have "good sense", beliefs elaborated from their own perspective, which exist in unstable combinations with conformist "common sense" and are seeds of a revolutionary perspective. Many everyday practices are already anarchist in that they involve the "social principle" and don't operate hierarchically.

Most of what passes for "unlearning" in anarchist circles today passes through the superego. It's about using guilt, punishment and social pressure to try to overcome complexes which are assumed to be primarily "beliefs" and "behaviours". But you only get real change if the person's unconscious fundamental fantasy and their attachments of desire shift. There's more change on this level from ten minutes in a liberated space than a lifetime of moral pressure.

CBT is crap. "Behaviour change" is fascist thought control. Capitalism is a socio-economic structure. Blaming the effects of a socio-economic structure on individual psychological failings is neoliberal bullshit. One of the core mechanisms of neoliberalism is "responsibilisation", or displacement of systemic effects onto individuals (blaming the poor for poverty, the sick for sickness, etc). The key mechanism here is not just which "behaviours" get targeted. We can't make this model progressive by replacing neoliberal behavioural prescriptions with anarchist or socialist prescriptions. The key mechanism is turning the superego into the master of the self, instead of the ego and id. Subordinating the proletarianised body and proletarianised desire to the bourgeoisified mind, to the rational self-controlled subject. This is almost identical to reactionary psychology in the 30s, and it is the opposite of revolutionary psychology. A liberated subject does not constantly watch themselves for "behaviours" they don't like, they live intensely in the moment. Liberation is disalienation and disinhibition.

You don't create cooperative spaces by making people less narcissistic and competitive. You make people less narcissistic and competitive by creating cooperative spaces.

You wanna do anarchist psychology? Give up the bourgeois idealist pop-psychology crap and read some Reich, read some Marcuse, read some Laing and Guattari and SPK, read Anthony Skillen and Alfred Hirschman and Paul Goodman and Nietzsche and Foucault on madness, read Susan Bordo and the Situationists and Germaine Greer and Barbara Cruikshank, read about Somatherapy and feminist CR and liberation social psychology and ecotherapy and soul wounding. Once you know what the unconscious is - and what the superego is - and how desire might work at the machinic or molecular level - and how responsibilisation relates to capitalism historically and today, then we can have some serious discussions about unlearning.


infinitesunrise wrote (edited )

Maybe not unlearning so much as learning that alternatives exist. Like Tequila implied, there are a lot of things you 'learn' that go deeper than simple knowledge and extend to identity, culture, behavior, etc - A lot of which cannot be realistically undone. I think that really the 'unlearning' process is discovering that an alternative even exists, and then slowly, one thing at a time, reconciling what you already believe or understand about the world with that new knowledge. Basically, adapting to anarchism is the same learning process involved in internalizing any new knowledge... Just far more profound and far-reaching in it's implications than most discoveries.